Does this describe your dieting life?
You committed to losing weight and mapped out your keto diet plan. But now...something isn’t working. You keep tweaking your macro intake, calories, and trying different foods, but the results are discouraging. You’ve even tried intermittent fasting to trigger ketosis - without the promised results.
The team at Evolve180 works hard to help people avoid five common factors that hinder weight loss on a keto diet.
#1 Tastes & Treats
The most obvious is sometimes not so obvious at all: the little tastes and treats consumed out of habit. Journaling everything you eat and drink is important because those little tastes and treats can take us out of ketosis quicker than you might think. For example, My Fitness Pal user-data reveals the average Costco sampling trip includes 300 calories and 35 grams of carbs. This is the equivalent of an entire meal, eaten unintentionally.
Alcohol (especially carb-heavy drinks) also impacts your body and metabolism. Consumption of beer and other carb-heavy beverages fills your body with sugars and carbs, preventing fat-burning benefits. Alcohol consumption also negatively impacts your quality of sleep, which is necessary for successful health management and weight loss.
#2 Going It Alone
Crafting your own approach is admirable, but often frustrating and ineffective. Why? Unless you’ve taken the time to become an expert in metabolism, ketosis, and the signals your body is giving you, you won’t understand why your body is or isn’t responding.
Developing an approach on your own is limited by your experience and knowledge. Dieters who go it alone often improvise and personalize to such an extreme that they lose the momentum of proven strategies.
One indication a person is going it alone is hearing these words: “That may work for everyone else, but I….” A good coaching protocol helps avoid this trap. A great coach will have spent years working with clients and collected a wealth of information and experience. It's also very hard to truly hold ourselves accountable. This is why good coaching pays off in the long run and can help you maintain better results.
#3 Imbalance or Off-Balance
A precise balance of nutrients, fats, and proteins is critical to sustaining ketosis. Physical dietary responses are unique to each person, so cookie-cutter plans can provide a start, but other factors come into play quickly. These may include individual levels of insulin resistance, metabolic type, medical conditions like PCOS, hormone profiles, and so on, Establishing the right balance for your body from the very beginning requires an informed approach. But what works at the beginning will need to be adjusted as your body reacts.
Research from Harvard points out the ranges of balance required (i.e. 70-80% fat from total daily calories, 5-10% carbohydrate, and 10-20% protein). Translating those ranges with effective specificity for your body can be challenging and overwhelming. Getting it right takes fine-tuning. Getting it wrong can mean zero progress.
Part of maintaining balance is the problem of overeating the acceptable foods usually included in a ketosis diet. That’s right! You can eat too much of the good stuff! Those who end up over-doing it with protein, fat, low-carb fruits, nuts or "keto" snacks can experience a plateau or even weight gain. While protein consumption is key, the total amount of protein you take in matters. The same goes for every other macronutrient in your plan.
Having a trained coach review your results, look at your food journal, and talk with you about your physical experience allows for educated adjustments.
“Franken-Foods” are heavily processed products crammed with ingredients billed as "low-carb, low-cal, keto-friendly" options. However, oftentimes they are actually just a combination of empty calories cooked up in a food chemistry lab with little to no oversight. They are also known as food fads. Products that are supposedly "just like the real thing but won't take you out of ketosis" like agave syrup, Quest Bars, or Dreamfields Pasta sound too good to be true—because they are.
One common food fat lately is a sweetener found in MANY supposedly keto products. It's often labeled as an "IMO" or "fiber-based sweetener". It's true name is isomaltooligosaccharide or some variation. This ingredient is found in many of the most popular supposedly keto-friendly protein bars on the market today. The logic goes that the fiber that makes it up doesn't absorb into your bloodstream as a carbohydrate, so you can have all the sweetness without any glycemic response. However, this sweetener is NOT the miracle substitute it's been touted to be! In 2018, it was exposed by the FDA as “not a fiber.” However, labeling has not yet caught up, so most products with this sweetener still claim far lower "net" carbs than truly exist in the food. Foods like this can be very misleading and prevent weight loss.
#5 Supplements that Can Slow Your Slimming
Many keto diets and programs recommend taking supplements to ensure nutritional needs are met. Balancing electrolytes is crucial. Without the right balance, you may experience unwanted, and unnecessary side effects due to electrolyte imbalances. But you need to be sure you know what to take and how much.
Citing completed studies of keto diets, dietdoctor.com points out, “...when carb intake is extremely low, levels of electrolytes–especially sodium–can drop. And if this happens, you may not feel your best.” But how do you fix that? Which supplements do you need, and how much? Without the right answers, some people feel so bad they have to quit the diet without understanding why. If you get your supplements right, you can both lose weight and feel great.
Just as with the "Franken-Foods" however, some over-the-counter supplements claiming to support ketosis can actually be filled with unfriendly ingredients like maltodextrin and artificial sweeteners. These can actually carbs or fool the body into thinking it had sugar - causing a glycemic response counter to your keto goals.
If you decide to take supplements, it’s important to take high-quality, proven products that will actually help.
A quick word about supplements in general: many are not FDA-approved, designed with scientific oversight, or even effective for your health! Be careful where you source your products. A summary of what the FDA wants consumers to know can be found here.
A final thought...
Instead of wandering through your weight loss journey alone and inadvertently preventing your own success, consider working with experts like the coaches at Evolve180, who know the best ways to help you reach your goals. For more tips and information to enhance your progress, explore our blog!